Even if you don’t live in a mansion in the French countryside, creating that same chateau-chic look in your home isn’t that difficult, especially with the right window treatments. French country combines timeless elegance with rustic charm. For window treatments that means luxuriously proportioned shades or drapes, often with classic patterns inspired by nature. There is one thing you’ll never see in a true French country home: blinds. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives to blinds that will work well within any room and with any type of window.
For a luxurious look that still feels tailored and modern, Roman shades are the ideal alternative to blinds. Because they come in such a wide variety of colors and patterns, they’re also an easy way to add some French country charm to any room. Keep in mind that the defining characteristic of this style is that it’s inspired by nature — specifically, the countryside of Provence. So when selecting colors or patterns for any window treatment, stick to a natural color palette. Rich hues such as deep burgundy or sage green can add warmth to a room while also acting as accent colors when chosen for smaller Roman shades.
Floral patterns are also a classic choice for French country charm and, when they are selected for Roman shades, they can add some interest to a room without becoming too overwhelming. Florals don’t have to feel too fussy or too busy, either. Selecting a pattern in neutral hues will give your window treatments French country charm with a subtle touch. Even for larger windows, floral patterns can work well since Roman shades have the advantage of a streamlined profile. This helps florals provide a whimsical accent without drawing too much attention.
One distinct advantage of Roman shades is that they’re available with a Top-Down/Bottom-Up Lift that gives you more control over the view, your privacy, and light. They can also be lined with blackout fabric for complete light control, which is essential for bedrooms. Pairing Roman shades with custom drapery is also a classic French country combination since it offers the practicality of shades along with the added style of luxurious drapes.
While Roman shades can easily bring French country style into a more modern, understated space, gorgeous custom drapery is a French country essential. In a true French chateau, drapes were often the only option for the large windows. The style has endured and can work with almost any sized window in a modern setting.
The most incredible feature of custom drapes is that they can actually make any window or room seem bigger than it actually is. Sure, it’s something of an illusion, but floor-to-ceiling drapes draw the eye to both the ceiling and the floor and creates a sense of a more voluminous room and a larger window. A wide selection of simple sheers or heavy fabrics means they’re also versatile enough to create a luxurious layered look or keep things light and airy.
Patterns or solids can both play a role in French country drapery, but remember to stay true to the style by sticking with a natural color palette. In larger rooms, patterns are perfectly fine and can even be paired with contrasting colors or patterns of secondary window treatments, such as Roman shades. French Country style has no rules when it comes to mixing and matching floral patterns, gingham, or classic toile — as long as they all adhere to a natural, complementary color palette.
While drapes and Roman shades are the classic combination for French country window treatments, there is one more alternative to blinds that works well: modern roller shades can easily be paired with custom drapes to add practicality to your window treatments. If your drapes are more fanciful than functional, installing low-profile roller shades makes it easier to control privacy and light. When rolled up, they can be easily hidden by drapes and valances. And, when rolled down, choosing a complementary sheer or opaque fabric adds an extra dimension to traditional French country windows.
Bringing traditional French country style to your home is easy if you start with the right window treatments. After establishing a color palette and some iconic patterns, you can build your design strategy from there. To learn more about bringing French country style into your home, sign up for a free virtual consultation with one of our experts today.